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24 Day UK and Balkan Quilts, Embroidery, Castles and Gardens Tour 2020 (Tour Code: EQT) BUY NOW

The 2020 UK and Balkan Quilts, Embroidery, Castles and Gardens tour will be led by Maralyn Wise, an experienced quilter, professional textile artist and dyer from Sydney (conditions apply). This 24 day tour will take you to the Festival of The Quilts in Birmingham, England. We will also visit London, Windsor, Bath, Sissinghurst Garden, Kent, Leeds Castle and Dover. Enhanced by a European Balkan tour including Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Albania,Macedonia and Serbia, you will have some chances to visit some quilt shops, crafts shops and lace exhibition during this trip as well as to explore and enjoy the historical highlights, cultural heritage and the charming scenery of Europe with a life time experience.



Depart Australia to London via Doha on Qatar Airway in the evening and fly overnight. 

Day 02, 26 JUL: LONDON (D)

Connect your Qatar Airway flight to London in the morning and arrive in London Heathrow airport at noon. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to hotel. Rest, unpack and enjoy your free time in London or explore local area on your own. Have your dinner at hotel or local restaurant.

Day 03, 27 JUL: LONDON (B.D)

Enjoy an orientation tour of London by bus. Stop off at various famous sights for photo shoots. Explore the Palace of Westminster, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards Parade, Pall Mall etc. In the afternoon there will be free time to explore the Victoria and Albert Museum, Harrods, Madame Tussauds at your own choice. Have lunch at your own cost. Have your dinner at hotel or local restaurant.   

Day 04, 28 JUL: LONDON (B.D)

Today you will first visit Hampton Court. Explore the palace, the gardens, the maze, the tennis court, the kitchens etc. (Entry cost Hampton Court included, all other entry costs at your own expense). Take short bus drive to Kew Gardens (only entrance cost included and mini train fee at your own cost). View the Gardens. Then enjoy a visit to Tikki Patchwork in the town of Kew. Have your dinner at hotel or local restaurant. 



After breakfast we will travel by coach to visit the largest castle in the world- Windsor Castle.  This is the stately home of the Queen. Afterwards we will travel by coach to the historic city of Bath. Visit the Royal Crescent and the Circus, Queen Square, Abbey Churchyard, Abbey Green or the Cross Bath tucked away down Bath Street. Also visit the Fashion and Textile Museum, Pulteney Bridge and the Weir, along with the colourful Parade Gardens. If we still have energy, walk up Lansdown Hill and turn into Camden Crescent for some of the best views of Bath. Stay overnight in Bristols.


Day 06, 30 JUL: BRISTOLS – ROMAN (B.D)

Enjoy a guided tour around Bath. Leave Bath to visit the American Quilt Museum and grounds (request a special viewing). Our personal tour guide will give you some time to study the wonderful quilt collection they have on display. After this visit, have your lunch at your own cost. Visit a quilt shop and do some shopping. Have your dinner at hotel or local restaurant. At your free time, you may wish to visit Jane Austen House.


After breakfast, you are transferred by coach to Birmingham, where we will book into our hotel for the next two nights and then transfer to the Exhibition Hall for your first day at the Festival of the Quilts. Return to the hotel for dinner.


After breakfast at the hotel we make our way back for the 2nd day of the Festival Of the Quilts. Return to the hotel for dinner. 


After breakfast, travel to Kent where we will visit Sissinghurst Castle Garden today. It is designated a landscape of outstanding natural beauty. The garden was created by Vita Sackville–West and Harold Nicolson in the 1930's. A stone manor surrounded by a moat was built in the Middle Ages. Two legs of the moat survive - a third leg originally ran where the 'Moat Walk' lawn is now. The original building was replaced in the 15th century by a large manor built by the Baker family - related by marriage to the Sackvilles of Knowle. The garden is in fact a series of some ten separate gardens, all delightfully different. Walls and hedges separate the gardens, giving the visitor the impression of peace and seclusion. On a sunny day there is almost nowhere better to be. Stay overnight in Dover or nearby town.



Head southwest to Canterbury and have a guided tour of Canterbury Cathedral. Have your free time to wander the city and visit the local quilts shop. In the afternoon transfer to the airport and fly to Zagreb, Croatia. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel in Zagreb downtown. You will have your dinner in your hotel.


Day 11, 04 AUG: ZAGREB – PTUJ – MARIBOR (120 km) (B.D)

Enjoy a Zagreb city tour in the morning including walking tour through Dolac Market and visit to the Cathedral. Scroll around Ban Jelacic Square and take a ride a funicular to St Mark's Square and see Parliament House and Presidential Palace, Stone Gate… Depart from Zagreb and cross the border into Slovenia for an afternoon arrival in Ptuj, the oldest town in Slovenia. Visit the castle and enjoy a walking tour through the old city centre. In the evening, we will arriveat the second biggest Slovenian town Maribor.

Accommodation at a 4* hotel

Included: ride with funicular in Zagreb.

Day 12, 05 AUG: MARIBOR – ZICE – LJUBLJANA (160 km) (B.D)

We first start with a morning city tour through the old centre of Maribor: Franciscan Church, Castle, Slomsek Square, Theatre, University, Main Square with a visit to the old Vine – the oldest in the World. Depart from Maribor and arrive at the famous Carthusian Monastery in Zice (over 800 years old). Start our visit to the ruins of the monastery. Travel in the afternoon to the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana where a city tour will follow. Walk through the streets of Ljubljana, described by many visitors as the most beautiful capital in the world. Walk along its lively streets, feel the life in the Central Market and in numerous picturesque squares. See the famous Triple Bridge, make a stop at the Dragon Bridge, ascend to the mighty Ljubljana Castle via funicular railway, and visit one of the many pubs along the Ljubljanica embankment. Have your dinner at your hotel.

Included: entrance to the Carthusian Monastery in Zice, return ticket for cable car (funicular) to the Ljubljana castle.


In the morning we will depart and travel to Postojna to visit the World-famous Postojna Cave on train and with a local guide. Continue to Idrija and visit the famous lace school located there. We will also admire the lace exhibition in the town castle. Return to Ljubljana for a dinner with traditional folklore program.

Day 14, 07 AUG: LJUBLJANA – BLED – BIOGRAD (470 km) (B.D)

In the morning we will travel towards Lake Bled. Visit Bled, the pearl of the Alps with more than a thousand years of history. Drive and walk along the famous Lake with its island and the castle high above its clear surface. Boat trip to the Bled Island in a traditional Pletna boat, ring the wishing bell and let some of your wishes come true. You will also have a chance to taste famous dessert – the “Bled cream cake.” After that, depart to the south for border crossing to Croatia passing the city of Karlovac and continue on the highway to the coastal region of Dalmatia. Accommodation in Biograd or nearby.

Included: boat trip to Bled island in a traditional Pletna boat, entrance to St. Mary church on the Bled island.

Day 15, 08 AUG: BIOGRAD – NP KRKA – DUBROVNIK (330 km) (B.D)

In the morning we will drive to Krka National Park, named after the river Krka that it encloses. It is a beautiful park with breathtaking scenery. Walking tour over the wooden path to see stunning waterfalls. We will continue  driving to the southern part of Dalmatia until we cross the border into Bosnia and Herzegovina and travel along the Dalmatian coast towards Dubrovnik. We will arrive in Dubrovnik in the afternoon – pearl of the Adriatic and protected by UNESCO World Heritage.

Accommodation at the hotel**** in Dubrovnik or nearby.

Included: entrance fee to Krka National Park.

Day 16, 09 AUG: DUBROVNIK (B.D)

You will spend the entire day in Dubrovnik. As a museum city and at the same time a live stage, it represents a perfect cross between the past and the present. Visit the old town centre of Dubrovnik to see the Stradun, Onofrio’s Fountain, Franciscan Monastery, which contains one of the oldest working pharmacies in Europe and Dubrovnik Cathedral. We will walk around the town walls and this will be followed by free time in the afternoon for exploring the streets and charm of Dubrovnik on your own (optional trip with Dubrovnik Cable car to the Srd Hill recommended for breathtaking views).

Included: entrance fee to the Franciscan monastery with pharmacy and ascend to the town walls in Dubrovnik.

Day 17, 10 AUG: DUBROVNIK – BUDVA - TIRANA (310 km) (B.D)

Depart from Dubrovnik and cross the border into Montenegro before travelling along Boka Kotorska Bay to Budva – one of the most famous seaside resort in Montenegro. There will be a short walking tour through the Old Town Centre. We will continue driving along of Montenegro and stop near the famous Sveti Stefan peninsula before crossing the border Albania and travel through Shodra toward Albania’s capital of Tirana. Accommodation in Tirana or Durres at the hotel****.

Day 18,11 AUG: TIRANA – KRUJA – DURRES – TIRANA (100 km) (B.D)

Morning city tour of the Albanian capital Tirana: Skenderbeg Square, watch tower, opera house, National Library, Etem Beg Mosque. In the afternoon we will visit Kruja, the old Albanian capital. We will visit the Skenderbeg Fortress and Museum before an afternoon visit to the one of local embroidery shop. We will return to the hotel in Tirana (or nearby Durres).

Included: entrance fee to the Skenderbeg Fortress and Museum in Kruja

Day 19, 12 AUG: TIRANA – ELBASAN – OHRID (150 km) (B.D)

In the morning we will travel towards the Macedonian border before arriving in Ohrid Lake with accommodation in Ohrid city. There will be a sightseeing tour in Ohrid (Old City Centre is listed under UNESCO heritage): enjoy the local architecture, St. Sofia Church, Roman Amphitheatre, Samoil's Fortress, marketplace "carsija."

Included: entrance fees to St. Sofia church and Samoil's Fortress in Ohrid

Day 20, 13 Aug: OHRID – SKOPJE (180 km) (B.D)

Travel to the north of Macedonia for a midday arrival in the capital city of Skopje and sightseeing tour (Fortress Kale, stone bridge, St Spas Orthodox Church, a mosque, famous marketplace "carsija." You will have some free time to explore the old town of Skopje.  

Included: entrance fee to the fortress in Skopje

Day 21, 14 AUG: SKOPJE – AVALA – BELGRADE (440 km) (B.D)

After breakfast we will travel to the north and cross the border into Serbia and via Leskovac and Nis. After arriving in the afternoon, we will ascend to the top of Avala Hill (just south of Belgrade) for a visit to Monument to the Unknown Heroes before ascending with an elevator to the Avala Tower for a nice view. After arrival in the Serbian Capital Belgrade there will be a typical Serbian dinner with local musicians at Skadarlija – part of the old town with bohemian atmosphere.

Included: entrance fee to the Avala Tower

Day 22, 15 AUG: BELGRADFE (B.D)

After breakfast there will be a city tour of Belgrade: Market Place, University, Parlaiment, Nikola Pasic Square Republica square, Knez Mihajlova Street, Kalemegdan – old fortress of Belgrade. Visit to the unfinished Orthodox church of St. Sava. Boat tour on Sava or Danube river. Dinner with music in one of the floating restaurants on the river.

Included: boat trip on Sava or Danube river.


After breakfast, you are transferred to Belgrade airport to take your Qatar flights homebound to Australia via Doha. You fly overnight.


You arrive in Australia in the late afternoon. Your unforgettable UK and Balkan Quilts, Embroidery, Castles and Gardens Tour ends.  




Tour price: $10,230 per person, twin or double share

Single supplement: $1,590


1. Qatar Airways economy class air-ticket: Sydney or Melbourne – Doha – London//Belgrade – Doha – Sydney or Melbourne;

2. International airport tax and airlines levy (currently $750, subject to change);

3. First class hotels with daily breakfasts;

4. Entrance fees for all sightseeing spots, special dinners, entertainment and quilt shows as indicated in the itinerary;

5. All the meals mentioned in the schedule;

6. All transfers and transportation by air-conditioned coach;

7. Boat cruises on lake or river;

8. Evening entertainment;

9. All programmes and sightseeing tours with English-speaking tour manager;

10. Tips to guide and driver (Total of $250 to be collected before departure);

11. A tour leader and quilter from Australia (if the number of tour participants is over 15);


1. Travel insurance. (Highly recommended);

2. Personal expenses;

3. Any meals and services not mentioned in the itinerary.

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